Unless you have soaring self esteem and confidence, or you’re out there doing something completely unique, own a business or hang around influential people; having to communicate with “important” people may seem like a stressful experience; like meeting your mother in law. So how does one approach a VIP without feeling like you’re looking up at them from a ditch while they’re owning their pedestal? Here are some tips.
1. Mirror Them
If you’ve ever read any self-help books like “How to talk to anyone”, most mention “parroting” as a method of being liked. What this means is copying the person you are talking to – parrot their body language (posture, crossed or uncrossed arms, facial expressions). Don’t go too crazy with this, but subtle mirroring can have a huge impact. Usually, individuals like people who remind them of themselves as they feel that they can relate to them and find mutual grounding, therefore extending the length of communication.
First impressions play a big role in forming an opinion of a person. Usually people of higher status compose themselves differently. If you can replicate their composure, they may think you are on the same level as them.
Continuing the topic of first impressions – composure is not the only way that you can mirror a person. You can also adopt a similar dressing style.
“The way we dress affects the way we think, the way we feel, the way we act, & the way others react to us.”
– Judith Rasband
Of course, when you get to know a person, what they wear doesn’t affect your opinion of them, but initially, your outfit could be the turning point to whether someone approaches you or not. Your dress sense reflects your status, your opinion of yourself and who you are trying to attract.
2. The Law of Attraction
So, this brings us to the Law of Attraction. You’ve probably heard of it before; it’s the big secret to achieving your goals. Basically, the law of attraction states that everything has a certain energy, and by matching your energy to the thing that you desire, you attract it.
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.”
– Albert Einstein
The same concept applies to people. We are attracted to people who give out the same vibration as us. By mimicking this vibration, we draw them in.
To do this, you have to believe that you are, in no way, less talented, interesting or successful than the person you are trying to attract. You have to really feel this in your bones. Not only are you benefitting from the person but the person is also benefitting from you, you need to be convinced that this is a mutually beneficial relationship, and that you are deserving of it, even if you are conversing with someone like Steve Jobs or Barack Obama.
3. Avoid Short Answers
You know how sometimes you get asked a question and you reply briefly to avoid saying something potentially disastrous and stupid. Don’t do that.
Firstly – you could risk looking like you’re not interested in the conversation at all.
Secondly – you could look like you lack knowledge to properly maintain a conversation, so basically, you end up seeming like you really are boring or just dumb.
Thirdly – if the person is older than you, you could create an age barrier where the older person acts like the adult-type who is weening answers out of the child with no reciprocation.
Three catastrophic situations in which you can be sure the amount of Facebook friends you have is not going to increase.
On the other hand, what you should do is show off your intelligence. Not by reciting facts that you memorised off wikipedia, but by providing an insightful and analytical answer to their question, one that may take some time to ponder but will amaze the listener and interest them to hear your thoughts on other topics. Don’t make this too long and annoying either, keep it sweet but deep.
4. Understand their Humour
Now this is something that could either go so wrong, or so right, but if you manage to properly distinguish what type of humour this person is fond of, you can really progress your relationship to a more personal one, rather than a business-like one.
Keep in mind that it is extremely easy to get this wrong, so listen to what this person says to you, how they act, and make your own intuitive assumption of what they may laugh at without crossing any boundaries. You should probably steer away from anything that could potentially be offensive or inappropriate. This may seem obvious but is a very common mistake that people make, so be careful and be attentive.
So here we have it; 4 tips to interest an interesting person. And most importantly, don’t forget that you are awesome. Comparison is the thief of joy, so just remember that we are all human, none of us are better than the other, even if our badges might say otherwise, we are all unique souls fighting our way through life, discovering our calling.